The Four Pillars of Priestly Formation

 

In Pastores Dabo Vobis, Pope John Paul II described the principal foundations for priestly formation as human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.  Each area, while distinct in itself, is naturally linked to the others. The four pillars form the comprehensive structure of formation that guides the development of the candidate toward Priesthood.

 

Human Formation

The purpose of Human Formation is to assist the seminarian in his task of becoming a man of integrity with the personality necessary for priestly ministry in the Church. It “seeks to prepare men to be bridges for, not obstacles to, the spread of the Gospel.” (Program of Priestly Formation, 83) The community life of the seminary and the various services and co-curricular programs of the Human Formation Program are ordered to assist the seminarian to grow in true freedom, to develop a solid moral charater, to be well-oriented to the truth, to become a man of communion, to evidence affective maturity, to be respectful of every person, to exercise appropriate care for his physical well-being, to be a good steward with respect to temporal goods, and to be a confident leader.

 

Spiritual Formation

In the area of spiritual formation, our seminarians seek to grow in their relationship with Christ through prayer and contemplation.  In this relationship, they encounter the overwhelming love of God in their lives and share in His merciful compassion.

 

Intellectual Formation

In the area of intellectual formation, our seminarians seek to deepen their faith through study of the philosophy and theology so that they may authentically proclaim Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life to the faith communities they serve. Our seminarians learn the skills and develop the disposition necessary to be ministers of the Gospel in all things and at all times.

 

Pastoral & Apostolic Formation

Every Thursday during the academic year, seminarians in both the College and Theology Divisions participate in supervised field education assignments.  Placements include: Parishes (varied cultural experiences), nursing homes, senior citizen centers, special education schools, social service agencies, hospices, soup kitchens, hospitals, high schools, and prisons.